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Mid Michigan urgent cares swamped with covid patients as cases statewide continue climbing

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BIRCH RUN, Mich. (WJRT) - Mid Michigan urgent cares are feeling the brunt of this latest surge in cases of COVID-19.
 
It’s no secret that COVID-19 is hitting Michigan hard. Case counts are the highest they’ve been in months and hospitals are at or near capacity.
 
Urgent cares are also seeing their fair share of patients as well.
 
“The big illnesses again are the COVID-19 positives, a lot of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease and a lot of RSV,” said Licensed Practical Nurse, Bren Gamblin.
 
Every day is a full plate for Gamblin at Hope Urgent Care in Birch Run.
 
She gets there at 8 :00 a.m. in the morning and goes home around 6:00 p.m. at night.
 
“Over 100 per day. Since COVID-19, that’s about normal. We’re probably 120-130 now, so our volume is up 1/3,” she said.
 
At 130 patients, with a one hour lunch, 8 hours days, that’s about 16 patients per hour.
 
Hope is more than just an urgent care. It’s also a family medicine practice and suboxone clinic. But the majority of patients, again, are COVID-19 positive, and mostly unvaccinated.
 
Gamblin knows the hospitals are at or near their breaking point with capacity.
 
It’s why she encourages people, if they’ve been exposed, to come in and test.
 
Once a test is confirmed positive, provided there are no major respiratory issues, there’s no need to go to the ER.
 
“There’s things we can do to help our community so they’re not stuck 8, 10, 12 hours at the ER,when we can get a hold of you now, treat you,
diagnose you first then treat you,” said Gamblin.
 
Every urgent care and healthcare provider’s protocols are different. When it comes to diagnosing and testing for COVID-19, the best bet is to call ahead first.
 
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